An afternoon of Luxury at Harvey Nichols

On Saturday I was part of a small group of bloggers who were treated to an incredible afternoon in the stunning ultra modern Harvey Nichols store in Birmingham’s Mailbox. Brunch, beauty, hair and a tour of the very special store were all included in a busy afternoon, one which gave a real insight into what an absolute jewel in Birmingham’s glittering crown Harvey Nicks really is.

Food

We started the afternoon with brunch in the new restaurant, sitting at the chef’s table overlooking the open kitchen.  The brunch offering was a sneak preview of a new menu that will be available in October. With dishes ranging from Ulster Fry to Homemade Corned Beef Hash served with a fried Duck Egg, this menu is sure to be a real crowd pleaser, but I opted for the sweetest dish on the menu. This was the pancakes with maple syrup and berry compote, and a dollop of cream for good measure. I have to say this was absolutely delicious, the American style pancakes were fluffy and buttery, the compote was just the right side of sweet, the berries not being tart as they can often be, and as for the cream – the word yum was created for this. It was just divine, and washed down nicely with a pot of English Breakfast tea.

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Tour of the store

With changing rooms more akin to movie star dressing rooms, with cameras that allow you to take a 360 degrees photograph that can then be sent to a friend through social media to garner their opinions, Harvey Nichols Birmingham is quite a store. Adding in features such as a sofa based on Mae West’s lips a la Salvador Dali, and incredibly eclectic ranges that include vintage Chanel jewellery, and a very special capsule collection by Roksanda Ilincic comprises 10 of the designers most memorable pieces, you can see that Harvey Nichols is truly a destination when it comes to shopping with style.

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Shavata

I’m a little ashamed to say that, before Saturday, I’d been too frightened to have my eyebrows threaded. But when I was asked to choose a treatment, I decided to take the plunge and have my eyebrows threaded by the best – the team from Shavata. I have to say I was astonished at just how quick the whole process takes – about 15 minutes, that it was mainly tingly rather than painful, and the difference it makes to the definition and appearance of your face.

The threading costs just £17 and this can last for up to 6 weeks depending on the rate of growth, an affordable treat that can make a huge difference.

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Hershesons Blow Dry Bar

Hersheshons is hair styling with a difference. The concept is a hair bar that concentrates on blow drys, offering a menu of 10 different sorts of blow dry that can be done quickly – in your lunch break, after the gym, before or after work. I was treated to a 30minute blow dry and style with stylist Drew. This left me with a full head of curls that lasted until the next morning. This is such a great idea for anyone wanting a quick hair fix, or a new, temporary style for a special occasion.

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Langleys Gin Pop Up Bar

No afternoon is complete without a cocktail, and the Red Sole, a mix of Langleys gin (produced locally in Birmingham), elderflower and rose was just delicious, and much needed after a hard day being pampered and looked after…

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I had the most wonderful afternoon at Harvey Nichols, and if you haven’t yet popped into the new store, you need to do it now.

*With thanks to Lisa Piddington and Harvey Nichols for the invitation and treats.

 

A Beautiful Mind at Harvey Nichols, Birmingham

There was a big night of beauty taking place at Harvey Nichols in Birmingham’s Mailbox last Thursday.  ‘A Beautiful Mind’ delivered a series of masterclasses in hair, skincare, brows and beauty, whilst serving up beauty discounts and champagne and cocktails. I was invited along to enjoy the proceedings, learn a few lessons, and enjoy a little bit of pampering.

I arrived early and so used the opportunity to have a browse at the latest beauty offerings and enjoy a cocktail of Prosecco and ginger created by using Ficks cocktail fortifier – apparently it helps prevent a hangover. To be honest, as much as I love ginger ale, I think this is an acquired taste which I wasn’t entirely sure about, but can confirm, there was no hangover the next day!

DSCN6325[1]Looking around the beauty section, I totally fell in love with the gorgeous Cinderella tie-ins from the LED nails brand Red Carpet Manicure, the packaging is absolutely stunning, with mini story book style boxes adding to the glittering fairy tale mystique that is proving to make this movie irresistible to big girls and little girls alike.

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Elemis is one of my favourite brands, so the opportunity to enjoy a hot stone hand and arm massage was one that I was not going to miss. The hot stones act like a high pressure massage, but without the pain that can sometimes accompany these. The massage was so relaxing and used one of my favourite Elemis products, the Frangipani Monoi body oil that has the most intoxicating scent. My hands felt really soft, and the scent drifted into the air creating a relaxed atmosphere. What I didn’t know was that the oil can also be used on the hair as a real luxurious treat. You learn something new every day.

Elemis

Elemis

Relaxed after my Elemis massage

Relaxed after my Elemis massage

Then it was time to enjoy a couple of the masterclass sessions. First up was Cloud Nine who were giving expert hints and tips on haircare – specifically the use of straighteners and heat products. Cloud Nine promise products that are easy to use, and can be used everyday. They have a special ‘quick touch’ technology which means it is very easy to turn down the heat – great if you are styling your hair on the run.

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Cloud Nine demonstration

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The second session I attended was hosted by the lovely ladies of Space NK. This was a great, anything goes session that was keen to highlight that your beauty choices are just for you – there are really no right or wrong answers when it comes to products and colour – different things apply to different people. With this in mind, we were shown why primer is useful as a base for make-up, or just a skin perfector, and why blusher can work on all skin types – even those who think it is a real no-no (i.e me!). This was a fun session, as well as being informative.

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Space NK demonstration

Space NK demonstration

Unfortunately, my evening had to finish there, which meant I missed the session with Shavata as she was running late. However, I left with two rather fabulous goodie bags, one from Elemis, and one containing a gorgeous range of beauty products. The perfect end to a rather lovely night.

*With thanks to Lisa Piddington and Harvey Nichols, Birmingham for the invitation.

Harvey Nichols, Paula Reed and Autumn style

I was invited to a special event this week that had me super excited. Harvey Nichols fashion surpremo Paula Reed was heading to Birmingham! Specially invited guests were invited to hear her thoughts on the new season collections. As a huge fan of Paula and her impeccable style, this was one event that I could not miss.  This was Paula Reed previously of Grazia and the lady who had commentated on the Royal Wedding. I needed to hear what Paula had to say.  To add to the proceedings, Harvey Nichols head of menswear Darren Skey was also attending the event. This was going to be a seriously splendid fashion event!

With Paula Reed and Darren Skey

One of the things that I have been most impressed with at Harvey Nichols Birmingham in recent seasons has been how they have opened up the collections and ranges to the regional stores. In the past, Birmingham has had an eclectic, but undeniably small offering in store. Now, the full Harvey Nichols collection is available to be delivered to the store of your choice. I was also interested to hear about the regional variations in favourite brands and designers, with Louboutin, Mulberry, Jimmy Choo, Alice and Olivia, Burberry and Alexander McQueen proving to be Midlands favourites.

Birmingham Favourites

Alice and olivia Willa zebra print stretch silk blouse £225.00 click to visit Harvey Nichols

Choo Dunraven suede chukka boots £395.00 click to visit Harvey Nichols

Alexander McQueen Printed lace dress £440.00 click to visit Harvey Nichols

The trend report took in a lot of things you would expect for A/W, but the attention was in the detail. Statement coats will use sheepskin, employ embroidery, or be in the brightest of colours. Chunky knits will adapt print into their designs, whilst shapes will curve away from the body, with curved shapes and bell like sleeves.

Trends

Issa Jacquard Knitted jersey dress £575 click to visit Harvey Nichols

Paul Smith Black Epsom Wool and Cashmere blend coat £450 click to visit Harvey Nichols

Alexander McQueen Gathered Silk Cady Shirt £1,395 click to visit Harvey Nichols

M Missoni Degrade oversized Knitted jumper £355 click to visit Harvey Nichols

I loved finding out about some of the new designers who will be arriving at Harvey Nichols this season. My favourite items were from Mark Cross, especially his Grace Box Bag, a gorgeous item inspired by Grace Kelly’s overnight bag in the Hitchcock film Rear Window.

Mark Cross Grace small grained leather box bag £1,435 click to visit Harvey Nichols

The morning has really whetted my appetite for the upcoming Harvey Nichols Birmingham fashion show. Look out for an upcoming post next week for more details about this special event.